Tuesday, February 23, 2010

homeWORD learns about the Milltown Dam

Jeani Adams, WEN's Milltown Dam instructor, gave an abbreviated version of our two Milltown Dam Class Presentations to employees of homeWORD on Wednesday, February 10, 2010. She discussed the history of copper mining and smelting in the Clark Fork River drainage, the devastating flood of 1908, and described the processes that led to the Milltown Dam area becoming a Federal Superfund Site. We talked about the cleanup process that is now wrapping up and the work to come; site restoration and re-development. We had a great time, ending with planning a fieldtrip to the Milltown Dam bluff overlook this spring to see all we discussed first hand. If you know any community group or service organization that would like to know more about the Superfund site in our backyard, please contact us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Paper Mache

WEN's VISTA Development Assistant Emilie Kohler, participated on the Western Montana Fundraiser Association's Social Media panel on Friday. Her topic focused on the use of Facebook by small nonprofits to communicate with their community, members, and volunteers.

On Thursday, WEN volunteers gathered to
created paper mache aquatic macroinvertebrates. The bugs will be used in our School Stream Monitoring program as a bigger anatomical representation of these important water quality indicator species. Currently we are constructing the nymph/larval forms of a mayfly, caddis, and midge. If you wold like to help with this project, there are three opportunities to join us this week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Last week at WEN

WEN staff participated in the Spring 2010 UM Volunteer Fair. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table and expressed their interest in volunteering in our Spring field season! We've finalizing our training dates: March 4th and 13th. Please refer to our WEN Calendar for times and location.

Josh joined a Washington Middle School student Aden, and his family at Granite Creek Saturday. They collected aquatic macroinvertebrates and dissolved oxygen as part of his Middle School Science Fair project.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Watershed Education Network

We would like to introduce you to Watershed Education Network(WEN). Located in Missoula Montana, WEN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering knowledge, appreciation and awareness of watershed health through science, outreach, and education. Since 1996, WEN has been dedicated to growing the next generation of watershed stewards. WEN serves over 2,300 western Montana K-12 students annually through our School Stream Monitoring Program.

Stream Monitoring field trips take place at 30 different stream sites across western Montana each fall and spring. Schools are encouraged to adopt a waterway and visit the same site each season to facilitate seasonal and long-term comparisons of chemical, physical, and biological data. Field trips are a great way for students to get hands-on field experience outside of the classroom and to learn about their watersheds from a scientific perspective. The experience is a rich, hands-on educational experience for Western Montana students.

In the broader picture, stream monitoring helps students become more familiar with their local waterways: once acquainted with local streams, they are more apt to care about watershed health and to notice and understand developments that affect it. Through this educational experience, students begin to understand how local waterways fit into the larger picture of the watershed. Overall our program, increases awareness and sense-of-place relationships naturally encouraging watershed stewardship through education. For more details on our education programs, please visit us on-line at www.montanawatershed.org.